Submitting A Ning App

Ning App Metadata

<Module xmlns:ning="http://developer.ning.com/opensocial/">
 <ModulePrefs title="My Ning App"
     description="The description"
     author_email="help@example.com"
     thumbnail="http://example.com/thumb.png"
     screenshot="http://example.com/screenshot.png">
    <ning:screenshot view="profile">http://example.com/profile.png</ning:screenshot>
    <ning:screenshot view="tab">http://example.com/tab.png</ning:screenshot>
    <ning:screenshot view="home">http://example.com/home.png</ning:screenshot>
 </ModulePrefs>
 <Content>
   ...
 </Content>
</Module>

The <ModulePrefs> tag of your XML file must have the following attributes filled out for an OpenSocial Application to be considered for the Directory:

title
The title of your OpenSocial Application. The title is used in many places, including the Ning App Directory, the module title area as well as the default text for the navigation tab. All titles should have a maximum length of 24 characters.
description
The description the Ning App. This description appears in about view for the application in the Ning App Directory.
author_email
An email address that Network Creators can contact you for support. It is displayed publicly in the Ning App Directory.
thumbnail
URL for the Application thumbnail. This should be a logo for you Ning App or for your company. The image must be a 120px by 60px image. The preferred image type is PNG, however GIF and JPG are also acceptable.
screenshot
URL for screenshot of your Ning App. The recommended width is 280px, with a maximum width of 502px . The height of the screenshot should be the natural height of the gadget when it’s in use, with a maximum height of 1000px.

The <ning:screenshot> tag is a series of Ning-specific tags that are used for screenshots within the Ning App Directory. There are currently two supported screenshot types:

Screenshot Description Example
profile Profile view of your Ning App. This field is optional. <ning:screenshot view="profile">http://example.com/profile.png</ning:screenshot>
tab Canvas view of your Ning App. This field is optional. <ning:screenshot view="tab">http://example.com/tab.png</ning:screenshot>
home The home view. This field is optional <ning:screenshot view="home">http://example.com/home.png</ning:screenshot>

We have made a PhotoShop PSD that you may use as a screenshot template.

Best Practices

Because of our commitment to Ning’s Network Creators, we have a thorough list of qualifications for a Ning Network to be included into the Ning App Directory. Here are a list of best practices that we recommend:

What you must do

  • Your application must add value to Ning Networks
  • Your application must work as described
  • Ensure that all Ning App resources are not blocked by robots.txt or similar
  • Make sure the <ModulePrefs> attributes of your Application are properly filled out and images are the proper sizes.
  • The title must accurately describe your application
  • The thumbnail must accurately represent the application or your company
  • The description should accurately describe the application, make sense, and be free of spelling and grammatical errors.
  • The author_email attribute must point at a valid email address
  • If using Ning specific features, in your Ning App, include the Ning XML namespace: <Module xmlns:ning="http://developer.ning.com/opensocial/">
  • Make sure screenshots represent your application and are the proper sizes. Because the Ning Apps directory makes available additional screenshots, all Ning Apps taking advantage of this must use the <ning.screenshot> tags
  • Fail gracefully when member data is not available
  • Provide a good experience for signed out users of your application when the user ID is _anonymous
  • If your Application allows users to download, view, listen to or otherwise access or distribute third party content dealing with copyright, follow the instructions of Section 6 of the Application Developer Terms of Service.

What you should do

  • Make sure your application is free of spelling and grammatical errors
  • Test your Ning App in IE6, IE7, the latest versions of FireFox, Safari, IE, and Chrome. We recommend Yahoo’s A-Grade browser support.
  • Be aware that every Ning Network is unique and has different needs. Some Ning Networks are sensitive towards harsh language or suggestive images.
  • Be aware that not every viewer of your application will be the Network Creator
  • Optimize your Ning App so it runs as fast as possible. Many optimization tips used in general web development will also apply to developing your Ning App. Read the OpenSocial Latency Combat Field Manual.
  • Beware of caching. All Ning Apps have caching enabled, meaning the code severed to the Ning Network may be slightly out of date
  • Give users of your Ning App a fun and meaningful social experience. Read Social Design Best Practices
  • Be aware that Ning Networks have different themes. Inhert as much style as possible using gadgets.skins

What not to do

  • If your Ning App shares user generated content between Ning Networks, profile thumbnail images can not be displayed
  • Don’t require your users to download an browser/platform-specific external application. We want to be sure that all people, regardless of the browser they use, have a great experience when using a Ning App. For this reason, any Ning Apps that have severe limitations on particular platforms or require users to download external files to install on operating systems will not be admitted into the Ning Ning Apps Directory.
  • Don’t violate our Terms of Service. The Terms of Service we currently use for Ning Networks carry over to Ning Apps, and violators will be handled appropriately
  • Don’t do anything that will overly annoy the people using your Ning App. If you have an Ning App that runs slow scripts, requires an external download, immediately navigates away from the page or blocks the execution of the Profile Page, you’ll upset the people using your Application which will make your Ning App less popular.

Submitting your Ning App

To submit your Ning App to the Ning App Directory, log in to the Ning Developer Network and click on Create an Application on the main page, or choose Submissions from the navigation menu. From there, enter the URL for your Ning App.

Once you have added the URL, your Ning App will be in one of the following states:

Saved
A Ning App receives this state once you successfully add the URL of your XML File. Select a Category that best matches your Ning App, and click ‘Submit for Review’. Upon successful submission, your Ning App will be in a “Pending” state.
Pending
Once the Ning App is submitted and all required fields have been completed, the Ning App is in a “Pending” state awaiting approval from a member of the Ning Team. From there, the Ning App will be either “Active” or “Rejected,” and an e-mail will be sent to the email address you used to log in to the Ning Developer Network.
Active
Indicates that the Ning App is currently live in the Ning App Directory. Once in this state, Ning App Developers have the ability to delete or take their Applications offline.
Rejected
Indicates that the Ning App was rejected from the Ning App Directory. Any additional notes will also be included with the status message.
Removed
Indicates that that Ning App that was previously in the Ning App Directory has been removed. Any additional notes will also be included with the status message.